Thursday, September 14, 2006

Everyone Makes Mistakes...

When I got back from Florida I gave Phil a call. We met at South Towne Mall to discuss me working for him again at Club Exchange. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to work for him again for the reasons that I stated in this previous blog post but I figured it wouldn't hurt to meet with him and talk about it. He told me that he wanted me to be a Manager and also run Security. He told me that Brandy would also be a Manager. I would be paid hourly and I would get a monthly bonus starting in August (I wouldn't get a bonus for July because overhead on getting the club going was too high). He said that he wanted me to quit Teleperformance right away so I could focus on the club and offered me a $200 advance. I told him that if I quit right away, I would lose my shift differential of $2/hr which would cost me about $150 (at Teleperformance I was getting paid $7/hr plus $2 more per hour as long as I worked at least 75 hours in a two week pay period). He offered me a $150 signing bonus on top of the $200 advance. Money was tight due to spending way too much money on Chere and her kids and having missed work for surgery so $350 sounded really good so I agreed to work for him again.

The owners of Club Exchange, Trent and Ryan, had bought the club from the owners of Room 32 about 6 months before I started working there. Due to poor management they had to bring Ryan's brother, Travis on board to help out financially. So basically he is a silent partner. Travis was also a silent partner at Players. Travis is the one that hired Phil to be the General Manager at Club Exchange. Ryan was very involved with the club from the time I started there until about 3 weeks after I started when he got really sick. Then Trent started helping out. Both Ryan and Trent were great bosses. They didn't micromanage and were very helpful.

Over the next month things got progressively worse. Phil works at the Ultimate Combat Training Center Monday-Friday from 6-10 so he wasn't around very much. He told Brandy and I that he wouldn't be around much from the beginning. The problem with that is that I had to work with Brandy. Brandy and I have never got along (at Players and at Natalie's) so I have no idea why Phil hired us to be Managers together. Probably because we were the only ones dumb enough to be a Manager at a club that he was running. Brandy, like Phil, is very insecure. Most of the times when I offered to help her or just went ahead and did anything that she thought was "her job" she would let me know in a very snotty, condescending manner that my help wasn't needed. Then when she did need something done, she wouldn't ask me to do it. Instead she would say "I need you to..." as if I had no choice in the matter. She also had a habit of waiting till the last minute to ask me to do stuff like sending me to pick up beer and bar supplies at 9:00 at night when we open at 9:00. When I would ask her a question she rarely gave me a direct answer. She would usually ask why I wanted to know something instead of just answering my question.

Phil and I got along fine the first couple of weeks. The problem started arising when he wasn't there and Brandy wasn't getting stuff done and when Brandy was being rude to the employees. Two of the employees, Dayne (a bartender) and Tony (a barback), were the only employees that stuck around when Phil took over. They were friends with Trent so when things weren't getting done or Brandy was being rude they would call Trent and let him know. Then Trent would call Travis and want to know why the club wasn't being run properly. Then Travis would call Phil and aks him why the club wasn't being run properly. Both Trent and Ryan saw that I was always there and doing a good job so it made Phil look bad. That and the fact that I argued with Phil about letting some ladies who were friends of his that were under 21 into the club caused Phil to start being a jerk to me.

To compensate for him looking bad, Phil started saying that he was getting complaints from the employees about me saying that I was bossy. While I am very direct and don't always use a lot of tact, I am a nice guy and I am good at dealing with people. The only employees that I had a problem with were a couple of Phil's fighter from U.C.T.C. that he brought in to do Security. They would clock in, then sit down and eat, after having been told repeatedly not to clock in until they were ready to work. They would frequently leave their positions and clock out before asking me if they could. They knew we were supposed to help the barbacks haul the trash out at the end of the night but they would frequently ask Phil to clock out and then when I asked them to haul trash they would say "Phil said we could clock out."

One night I went outside where Phil and Trent were talking to complain about his fighters. He didn't even hear me out. He just told me that he didn't want to hear it and to go away. Trent noticed this and talked to me about it later. He told me that he didn't like the way Phil was treating me and would talk to Travis about it. After that Phil mellowed out because Travis told him to.

After I had been working at Club Exchange for a month, Phil wanted to get rid of Dayne and Tony because they were reporting back to Trent about what a poor job he was doing of running the club. So he told me to tell them they were getting a pay cut. They had been getting paid more than the other bartenders and barbacks because they were told that they would not get a pay cut when Phil took over. I told them this on a Monday night. They didn't quit like Phil was expecting them to so the next morning Phil told me to call them and tell them they were fired for accusing us of telling them to work off the clock. They had not been doing this but Phil just wanted to get rid of them. I called Dayne but got no answer. I called Tony and told him. He said that they had never accused us of telling them to work off the clock. I knew he would tell Dayne and that they would both talk to Trent. We were closed on Tuesday.

Wednesday night they both showed up to work. I asked them who told them they were still working there. They said that Trent did. I called Trent and he confirmed that he had told them that they were not fired and told me to call Travis. I called Travis and told him what was going on. He told me to let them work and he would talk to Phil. About an hour later I was down in the office getting their tills ready. Phil came down to the office cussing and yelling at me wanting to know why employees that he had told me to fire were working. I told him that Trent and Travis said they weren't fired. He continued yelling, cussing, and being belligerent. When he grabbed a chair with a fan on it and threw it to the side I walked out of the office. As I was walking out of the office he told me that I was fired too. Then I left the club and called Trent and Travis. Shortly after I walked outside Tony and Dayne came outside because Phil fired them. Trent knew we were getting screwed but because Travis was the one financing the club, Phil got his way.

I had to call Trent several times to have him call Travis to have him call Brandy to get my last paycheck. The following Monday I found out that my previous paycheck that I had deposited got returned to my bank for insufficient funds. I didn't get a replacement check until that Saturday and I had to call Trent and Travis several times to get that check because Brandy was being very difficult (and that's putting it nicely).

There's a saying that goes "Everyone makes mistakes. Smart people only make 'em ONCE." I must not be very smart because I've made the mistake of working for Phil a few times now. I will never work for Phil again!!

To be continued...

Monday, September 04, 2006


Back in April, when I went to the dentist, the dentist saw some a dark spot on the x-ray that he thought might be a cyst. I have a genetic disorder that causes recurring cysts. As a kid I had about 3 surgeries for cysts in my gums, one for a cyst on my right shoulder, and one for a cyst right below my nose. When I got out of the dentist's office, I called my dad (he lives in Orlando, FL near Gainesville, FL which is where I lived before moving to Utah) and told him about the cyst. He told me that I should call the doctor in Florida that did the other surgeries to remove my cysts, Dr. Graper, and tell him about the cyst. I called Dr. Graper and they told me to have the dentist's office send him a copy of the x-ray. About a month later Dr. Graper called me back and told me that I should come down and have the cyst surgically removed. I told them that i also had another cyst on my left shoulder that needed to be removed. I called my dad and told him. He told me to get it scheduled and he would buy me a plane ticket to fly down there and have the surgery. I called Dr. Graper's office and had the surgery scheduled for Friday, July 7th.

Two weeks after Chere got arrested, Phil called me and told me that he was going to be managing a new club where Room 32 used to be. It's called Club Exchange. He told me that he wanted me and Brandy to come be Managers and he wanted me to run Security. I told him that I was flying to Florida for surgery that weekend. He said he wanted me to start working as soon as I got back. I should have given my 2 weeks notice at Teleperformance but I didn't. I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to quit. I wasn't sure that I wanted to work for Phil again for the reasons stated in this previous blog post.

On Wednesday, July 5th I did Security for the VIP room at Club Vortex for the Rihanna concert. Jeannie Ortega opened up for Rihanna. The VIP room at Club Vortex serves as the dressing room for the artists when they have concerts there. I secured the VIP room during the concert and then escorted Rihanna to her bus after the concert was over.

Shortly after I got done escorting Rihanna to her bus, I was hanging out by the side entrance on the north side of the club when I heard a call over the radio for a Code Red outside. Code Red is the code for a fight. Immediately after the Code Red call Gary, the Head of Security, called for everyone to Stand Down. A couple minutes later the call for a Code Red outside came over the radio again. A few of the other Security came running out the side door and we went running around to the front of the building. There was nothing going on there so we continued around to the south side of the building where there is a two-story parking garage. Gary radioed everyone and told them to fall back to the building. I saw Grant trying to prevent a black guy from fighting 5 or 6 Polynesians. I wasn't going to let Grant get hurt so I went out and tried to help him stop them from fighting. Grant told me to stay back and Gary had told us to fall back to the building but I didn't want Grant to get hurt. Eventually the cops showed up and although it took them a while, they finally got control of the situation.

After it was over, Grant yelled at me to get out of his sight. Then Gary yelled at everyone and told them to go inside for a meeting. When I went inside for the meeting, Gary came up to me and told me to go home. I walked up to Grant and asked him if I was getting paid cash or should I give my hours to Greg, the manager that handles payroll. He told me that I was getting on his last nerve and told me to go home. I later found out from Brandon, one of the Security guys there, that Gary had chewed everyone out for not Standing Down and Grant chewed out Gary and all of the Security guys for not getting control of the situation earlier. So basically, Grant chewed everyone out for not doing what I did, which was try to de-escalate the situation. So him sending me home didn't make any sense.

On Friday, July 6th I flew to Orlando, FL and my dad picked me up at the airport. I had not seen my dad since moving to Utah 10 years ago. He drove us to Gainesville, FL and got us a motel room. At 9 A.M. he drove me to Dr. Graper office and I got another x-ray done on my mouth. Dr. Graper saw that I actually had two cysts in my gums so he took them out as well as the cyst on my shoulder. When I woke up from surgery, I was more coherent than I remebered being when I had surgery as a teenager but I was still very groggy. I slept most of Friday and half of Saturday. I had to wake up periodically to take my medicine. Saturday afternoon dad took us to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. I give it a C+. The effects were cool but the story was lacking.

Saturday night dad and I got into an argument. He is a pacifist and believes that Christians should not do Security, Law Enforcement, or be in the Military. He was also giving me a hard time for not having done much with life besides Security work. I lashed out by telling him that him being abusive to me and being too controlling (he didn't let me do things like study martial arts, play football, and join the police cadet program) as I was growing up was the reason I hadn't done much with my life. He kept pressing the issue and I told him that I didn't want to talk about it any more. He didn't respect that and still pressed the issue. I ended up walking out of the restaurant we were eating at and walking back to the hotel room. Sunday morning we talked. I apologized for blaming him and he apologized for being abusive to me as a child. I thought I had forgiven him for that but apparently I hadn't so it's good that we worked it out.

After our talk we went to the house of a lady that my dad knew and then we all went to First Assembly of God which is the church that we went to when I was living with him in Gainesville. After church we went to lunch with his friend. Then we went to the movies. I wanted to see Superman Returns but it wasn't showing at the theater we went to. My dad and his friend wanted to see The Devil Wears Prada. After 10 minutes of that movie, I asked my dad if I could go watch The Break-up instead. He said sure. I give it a B-. After the movies my dad's friend went home. Then we went back to the hotel. I ate some yogurt (my diet for about a week after surgery consisted of mostly yogurt) and took a nap while my dad went to a nearby movie theater and bought me a ticket for Superman Returns. My dad didn't want to see it but he bought me a ticket and dropped me off. I give it a B. After the movie I walked back to the motel.

Monday afternoon we drove back down to Orlando and got a motel room. I was really craving some food from Boston Market (it's one of my favorite places to eat and they don't have any in Utah) so dad went and got me some meatloaf, stuffing, and yams from Boston Market. After eating I went to bed. Tuesday morning dad drove me to the airport and I flew back home.

To be continued...